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In class we were prompted to do a free write poem about something relating to teaching or education. What follows is a brief poem and 26 things I learned in elementary school by having a social-justice oriented curriculum.

Read Part 1 of this post and more about Park Day School by clicking here.

A Poem for Teacher

Everything I need to know, I learned in Elementary School.

Remain current by

Teaching to the future activist.

Speak up, always.

White people can actually be wonderful allies.

My alphabet consists of letters linked to words

used to

A: Ableism is hurtful. Nothing is “wrong” with her.

B: Belonging means everyone fits here somehow.

C: Community looks like whomever has your back.

D: Difference is a beautiful thing to be celebrated.

E: Equity > Equality

F: Families come in all shapes, sizes and make ups. Community looks like whoever makes you feel good and has your back. The only requirement there is love.

G: You must not only be good, but do good. Walk the walk, my friends.

H: History is one of this finicky things that isn’t black and white. The story you hear depends a lot on who you ask to tell it.

I: “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, it was a courageous thing to do but someone was already there.” It’s always been Indigenous People’s Day to me.

J: Judge only when you know everything, and since you can never know everything, never judge.

K: Killing and violence are never the answer.

L: Listen with an open mind and open heart.

M: Model what you want to see.

N: “No” means no.

O: Oakland has so many amazing things to offer those who are willing to appreciate its community (AKA gentrification sucks).

P: Work for Peace.

Q: Question everything.

R: Recycle!

S: Say something! If not you, then who?

T: T is for our fearless leader Tom Little, may he Rest in Paradise.

U: Union– we are stronger together than we are apart.

V: Use your voice to help other’s find theirs.

W: We only have one world, we must take care of it.

X: Xylophones etc. Music really brings people together.

Y: Youth have power and can bring about impactful and important change.

Z: Zero-the number of situations where it is okay to intentionally hurt someone.